Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Food Waste Digesters on 2 October 2017

Question by Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what is the outcome of the pilot installation of food waste digesters in schools; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider installing such food waste digesters in more schools and other places such as hawker centers and coffee shops to promote recycling.


1       In April this year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) launched the ‘Love Your Food @ Schools’ Project to encourage schools to establish a culture of not wasting food. To complement this food waste reduction effort, NEA partnered ten schools to pilot the use of food waste digesters, and to involve them in a range of activities such as food waste segregation, educational talks on food waste, and learning journeys for neighbouring schools and community partners.

2        We have seen positive results in participating schools. For example, food waste has been reduced from 18kg to less than 10kg per day in Greendale Primary School, and from 24kg to 18kg per day in Admiralty Primary School. The pilot is expected to last two years. At the end of the pilot, we will evaluate the closed-loop food waste management programme and consider future plans for other schools.

3        My Ministry sees potential for greater use of food waste digesters. They could be deployed in hawker centres and coffee shops as the Member has suggested, or other premises such as shopping malls. However, we recognise that there are economic and practical constraints, such as the cost of the digesters and availability of space. Currently, we are conducting a pilot at Block 628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 Market to digest food waste generated by stallholders and patrons on-site. Under the contract for Public Waste Collection in the Pasir Ris – Bedok sector, on-site food waste treatment will be made available at two hawker centres - Block 58 New Upper Changi Road hawker centre and Block 16 Bedok South Road hawker centre. We will deploy food waste digesters at other hawker centres where suitable.

4        We hope to see more businesses implement food waste reduction initiatives and adopt on-site food waste treatment solutions. Businesses interested in installing on-site food waste digesters may also apply to the NEA 3R Fund for support.


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